10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing by Erica Jong


“We write poems as leaves give oxygen – so we can breathe.”

“You are always naked when you start writing; you are always as if you had never written anything before; you are always a beginner. Shakespeare wrote without knowing he would become Shakespeare.”

“I never became a writer for the money. I am a poet first. Even getting published is a miracle for poets.”

“What are the sources of poetry? Love and death and the paradox of love and death. All poetry from the beginning is about Eros and Thanatos. Those are the only subjects. And how Eros and Thanatos interweave.”

“Critics write out of intellectual exercise, not poets. Poets write straight from the heart.”

“If you imagine the world listening, you’ll never write a line. That’s why privacy is so important. You should write first drafts as if they will never be shown to anyone.”

“Nothing you write is ever lost to you. At some other level your mind is working on it.”

“It takes a spasm of love to write a poem.”

“What makes you a poet is a gift for language, an ability to see into the heart of things, and an ability to deal with important unconscious material. When all these things come together, you’re a poet. But there isn’t one little gimmick that makes you a poet. There isn’t any formula for it.”

“Poetry . . . comes blood-warm straight out of the unconscious.”

—Erica Jong

8 thoughts on “10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing by Erica Jong

    1. Thank you so much, Brad! I definitely agree! it is funny that it seems a lot of people aren’t even aware that Erica Jong is a poet (and a very talented one at that) only knowing her as the author of Fear of Flying.

      Liked by 1 person

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